The single player campaigns of recent Call of Duty titles have been notable for their content but are usually lacking in terms of length. Multiplayer is very much at the fore of the modern military shooter, but it appears that in the future depicted by Black Ops II, this rather unfortunate trend has been addressed.
Mark Lamia, the studio head of Treyarch, has admitted that previous solo campaigns have been relatively short, and in an interview with The Guardian has revealed that they plan to add meaningful replayability to their upcoming title:
“There is something that multiplayer has, but the campaign hasn’t had so much of: replayability,” said Lamia. “If you look at the Strikeforce levels, and you look at us going after choice and sandbox gameplay, what it does is put replayability inside the campaign.
“Look at the branching storylines: all these things, I believe, will drive people who enjoy the campaign experience to go back and play it again, because you’re going to have some new paths that you didn’t experience, or even in the case of Strikeforce levels, levels that you didn’t even play: it’s possible that you might not play all the Strikeforce levels on your first play-through. And then there are the story-endings.
“I think the goal at the highest level from a design perspective was accessibility plus depth of gameplay plus replayability. To me, for a campaign, that’s the Holy Trinity.”
I have to admit, even as someone who hasn’t visited the franchise for a few years, I like the sound of the Strikeforce levels. However, branching paths as a means of generating replayability isn’t always as much of a driving force as developers seem to think, and they will have to be careful to not unduly punish those that don’t wish to go through every possible iteration of Black Ops II.